EHL: Old Georgians crownEd champs as Surbiton and Wimbledon win EHL spots

England’s three EHL Men’s qualifiers were confirmed last weekend as Old Georgians became the first side to win the Premier Division titles for three years in succession since Cannock in 2006.

They were were 3-1 winners over Surbiton in the final as they overcame the concession of an early goal from Struan Walker with Lee Morton, Dan Shingles and James Carson earning them a 3-1 win.

It adds to their incredible season which also featured a Super 6s Premier Division title, Premier Division title and EHL bronze.

OGs qualify directly for next season’s EHL FINAL8 while Surbiton earned a place in the EHL KO16 thanks to their run to the final. At the KO16, they will be joined by Wimbledon who won the third place playoff on Sunday.

In the final, Walker fired powerfully past George Pinner after winning the ball back in the circle just over a minute in but the majority of chances then came the way of Ashley Jackson’s men. 

Ed Carson deflected over from his brother Tom’s cross a few minutes later before Sam Hiha directed a Liam Sanford cross wide and Morton fired narrowly wide on the turn all before the end of the first quarter. 

Despite Surbiton keeping the ball well in spells, OGs were able to spring attacks quickly and caused Surbiton lots of problems in transition though the first chance of the second period came the way of the hosts. 

Rob Farrington spun and pushed goalwards but former Great Britain goalkeeper Pinner comfortably saved. 

The St. George’s College outfit were level midway through Q2 as Morton finished off a great move, firing Tom Carson’s cross into the roof of the net bast James Mazarelo. 

Old Georgians failed to make the most of two penalty corners following their equaliser before Alan Forsyth was denied by the again-impressive Mazarelo. 

Surbiton had two brilliant chances to re-take the lead early on in the second half as Pinner superbly denied Walker’s reverse effort before saving a penalty stroke from Luke Taylor. 

Sanford fouled Alex Williams to give Surbiton the chance to go back ahead but Taylor’s stroke effort was tame and comfortably kept out by the former Holcombe shot-stopper. 

The momentum soon swung back the way of Old Georgians, though, with Hiha forcing a good save from Mazarelo before Forsyth’s audacious lob attempt dropped agonisingly wide. 

In the last minute before the final break, though, the lead was finally Old Georgians’ as captain Shingles deflected in from Jackson’s sliding pass at a penalty corner. 

Surbiton looked to push forward in the fourth period but struggled too create any clear-cut chances, with Henry Weir charging down three penalty corners brilliantly before the title was sealed with three minutes to play as Forsyth teed up James Carson to beat Mazarelo from close range. 

The third place playoff went the distance but, ultimately, Wimbledon won a shoot-out 4-3 against Hampstead & Westminster after a 2-2 draw in normal tie.

Kai Kaeppeler and Matt Guise-Brown had given Hampstead a two-goal lead before the end of the first quarter but Wimbledon struck back through David Condon (27’) and Sam Hooper (51’) to level the third/fourth-place play-off.

With the two sides level at 3-3 in the shootout after five efforts apiece, Jolyon Morgan stepped up and missed for Andrew Wilson’s side before Jack Waller scored his second shootout to give Wimbledon victory.

By EHL Hockey TV

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